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Verdict: 
A great option for an affordable saddle, but it's all very personal. All bums are different!
Weight: 
280g

The Madison Flux is a classically shaped saddle with a good level of padding. It's one of Madison's best sellers, and has been aimed at mountain biking, but I found it fine for use on the road.

  • Pros: Price, supportive and comfortable shape
  • Cons: Not the lightest, only available in one width, some might prefer a cutout

First things first, it's important to recognise that saddle fit is a very personal thing, and it all comes down to the width of your sit bones, your bike fit, and your flexibility – that is, how much you rotate at the hips when on the bike.

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For me, the saddle shape is great, and is very similar to the Specialized Romin Evo that I typically use. The scooped rear provides good support for the sit bones, and the small channel at the back helps to alleviate pressure.

The length is good, allowing you enough space to shuffle forward a little when really putting out effort – getting 'on the rivet'. The one gripe I have is there is not a true cutaway down the centre of the saddle. Many saddles have this as a means of reducing pressure on the perineum, and I did find that on rides over four to five hours, I was starting to notice the pressure.

Madison Flux - top.jpg

The cushioning is towards the middle of the range of saddles that I've used, which vary wildly from rock solid to akin to sitting on a pillow. It works well, as something too solid can bring on numbness, whereas too soft can fail to provide sufficient support and cause almost the same issue.

The rails are made of chromoly, a strong yet relatively lightweight steel, and a mainstay of saddles around this price, such as the ever-popular Charge Spoon. The saddle is easy to install on a seatpost using the standard dual rail system, and has plenty of fore-aft movement so that you can dial in your fit.

Madison Flux - underside.jpg

Aesthetically, the Flux looks good, with a classic shape and one-size-fits all matt black exterior. The white contrasting stitching is a nice touch to jazz it up slightly. It's also available in white, with contrast stitching.

Madison Flux - nose.jpg

At 280g, the saddle isn't the lightest, but stands up well against its closest competitor in terms of budget and shape, the Charge Spoon (£27.99), which weighs a similar 285g. The Genetic STV saddle is £15 more, but of similar heft at 282g.

One drawback of the Flux is that it's only available in one size. Many high-end saddles offer a variety of widths to suit your particular bodyshape, and this is becoming more common in the more budget options too, such as the Genetic STV referenced above.

> Buyer's Guide: 19 of the best saddles

You can get lighter for a little more money – the Kinesis Elite is 252g, for £45 – but again it's only available in one width.

For a cheap saddle, I'd say this is a good option, particularly if it's for a bike you're not going to put in long stints on, maybe your commuting steed. If you're looking for something for your 'best' bike, you could shave some grams by spending a lot more money, although whether the size and shape suit you is still of utmost importance, whatever it says on the scales.

Verdict

A great option for an affordable saddle, but it's all very personal. All bums are different!

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road.cc test report

Make and model: Madison Flux saddle

Size tested: 142 x 280mm

Tell us what the product is for and who it's aimed at. What do the manufacturers say about it? How does that compare to your own feelings about it?

The Flux saddle is Madison's best-selling model, which has been aesthetically overhauled in 2018.

Tell us some more about the technical aspects of the product?

Madison lists:

The Flux is hands down our best selling model, and beyond a graphic change, there was no reason to change this modern day classic

Supple synthetic leather cover with Kevlar rear and side panel

Cr-Mo rails are durable and offer great strength to weight ratio

Multi-density foam padding for cushioned comfort and effective shock absorption

142mm x 280mm

Weight 283 grams

Rate the product for quality of construction:
 
8/10
Rate the product for performance:
 
6/10

I found it comfortable from the off, with the shape and density of padding working well for me. However, I'd like more of a cutout channel down the centre.

Rate the product for durability:
 
8/10

After nearly a month of riding, it's holding up well, though I'm not the heaviest of riders to really put it through its paces.

Rate the product for weight (if applicable)
 
7/10

At 280g it's pretty much on a par for a saddle of this value. (And 3g lighter than claimed!)

Rate the product for comfort (if applicable)
 
6/10

Comfort with a saddle is very personal, and depends on the width of your sit bones and your level of flexibility. However, the Flux is quite similar in shape to my preferred saddle – a Specialized Romin – and so it worked for me. I would have liked a bit more of a pressure-relieving central channel, as I did start to feel the pressure on my perineum at the end of long rides (around 5 hours).

Rate the product for value:
 
8/10

You can't get much cheaper!

Tell us how the product performed overall when used for its designed purpose

The saddle is comfortable for shorter rides, and easy to fit. The shape is good, and it's not that heavy for the price.

Tell us what you particularly liked about the product

Reasonably comfortable, looks nice.

Tell us what you particularly disliked about the product

A central cutout would have improved comfort for me over very long rides. Although the saddle felt the right size for me, it's not available in multiple widths.

How does the price compare to that of similar products in the market, including ones recently tested on road.cc?

The Flux makes for great value, and you won't find much cheaper – it's less than both the recently reviewed Genetic STV and Fabric Cell.

Did you enjoy using the product? Mostly

Would you consider buying the product? No – I'd like a central cutout.

Would you recommend the product to a friend? Yes

Use this box to explain your overall score

Saddles are very personal according to shape, bike fit, and flexibility. The Flux worked reasonably well for me, providing comfort over shorter rides, though I started to feel it after long days out. This puts it in the 6-7 zone for me. Given its value, and that the shape might work better for others, I think it merits a 7.

Overall rating: 7/10

About the tester

Age: 31  Height: 6ft 1in  Weight: 61kg

I usually ride: Giant TCR / Cannondale Supersix  My best bike is: Giant TCR

I've been riding for: 5-10 years  I ride: Every day  I would class myself as: Expert

I regularly do the following types of riding: road racing, club rides, sportives, general fitness riding

8 comments

Avatar
joules1975 [579 posts] 1 month ago
2 likes

And the reason it's on a par with the budget Charge Spoon .... it's the same saddle!

I'm always amazed at how testers never seem to pick-up on or mention when a product from one brand is the same (at least visually) as a product from another brand.

In this case the saddle is made by Velo (in previous years Velo was pressed into the plastic base - can't tell from the photo if that's the case with this one). There are numerous companies that brand up this design as their own, with Charge being one of the few that then take the basic design to higher priced levels with their own spec), and it often appears as an OEM saddle (although often fitted with one piece upper with no stitching).

Avatar
earth [429 posts] 1 month ago
1 like

Looks like a rebranded Chrage Spoon.

Avatar
IanEdward [235 posts] 1 month ago
1 like

Have this saddle on two of my bikes (or at least, a Charge Spoon...).

Would echo the comments about lack of cut-away, obviously a personal thing but I eventually took it off my 'fast' bike as I liked to get low and stretched on that one and could feel it in the perineum, a Fizik Aliante with cut-out feels no different until I get stretched out, at which point it feels much better.

For the commuter and CX bike, no complaints.

Avatar
BehindTheBikesheds [2709 posts] 1 month ago
0 likes

it's subly different to the spoon apparently, anyhow, I bought a Madison and subsequently found I didn't get on with it on my new gravel bike build, really quickly in fact. Fitted a ti railed Arione instead and it suits me much better.

I really expected it would be fine so might give it a try on the commute bike but have a Fizik Nisene I've had for donkeys and it's perfect for everything so not sure what to do with it tbh.

Avatar
tsarouxaz [127 posts] 1 month ago
0 likes

This is a very good sadle, happy to see it on reviews, I have all my bikes fitted with all three colors and I also have a charge spoon. the spoon is not a good sadle because it is "sticky". it means that the lycra sticks on the spoon sadle and coming back from a standing pedaling is a nightmare. The solution was the flux!! The problem is that the sadle shown is the new model which is a lot harder than the old model. some may find it better, some may seek for the old model.

Avatar
brooksby [3893 posts] 1 month ago
0 likes

I keep looking at saddles in shops, then I think "The one that came with the bike seems fine, why change it?".  I sometimes think I'm the only person on the planet who thinks like that... (My only bike is a seven year old Mongoose hybrid with car paint (VW Elm Green) covering up Kurust treated scratches on the forks and handlebars).  Beausage, as St Grant would say... 

Avatar
CygnusX1 [1134 posts] 1 month ago
0 likes
brooksby wrote:

I keep looking at saddles in shops, then I think "The one that came with the bike seems fine, why change it?".  I sometimes think I'm the only person on the planet who thinks like that... (My only bike is a seven year old Mongoose hybrid with car paint (VW Elm Green) covering up Kurust treated scratches on the forks and handlebars).  Beausage, as St Grant would say... 

Sometimes you get lucky, sometimes you don't.

I was perfectly happy with the stock saddle on my Giant roadbike, and when I got a hardtail MTB the stock saddle on that seemed fine too, until I did an all day session on it.

I took measurements off the Giant saddle and looked for something similar - ended up with the Nukeproof Vector AM - partly based on dimensions, and partly because the black/toxic waste green option colour-cordinated nicely with my bike. I'm quite happy with it.

https://www.chainreactioncycles.com/nukeproof-vector-am-comp-cro-mo-sadd...

After one too many offs on the roadbike, I managed to rip a chunk out of the saddle, and so replaced it with a Charge Spoon.  This is definitely above the original stock saddle in terms of comfort, and is now my gold standard.

The original giant saddle (with a chunk out of it) now adorns my single-speed 'hack' bike.  Its still a better ride than the hard plastic fecker on my 1980's Peugeot "steel is real" 12 speed -- but that's staying as its original.

 

Avatar
mike the bike [1141 posts] 1 month ago
0 likes
tsarouxaz wrote:

 ...... and I also have a charge spoon. the spoon is not a good sadle because it is "sticky". it means that the lycra sticks on the spoon sadle and coming back from a standing pedaling is a nightmare...... 

I've never heard this complaint about a Spoon before and, although all my bikes are fitted with them, I don't recognise this characteristic at all.  Some things about a saddle are purely subjective - the comfort it offers, for example - but others can be objectively measured and I'd be interested to see a comparison of the 'stickiness' of leading seats.  

Mind you, I don't like a saddle that's too slippery, so maybe it's just me?